Sunday, February 18, 2007

Good Day Sunshine!

I thought about that famous Beatles song, "Good Day Sunshine" today as it was a beautiful sunny day here in Kansas. How appropriate since it was "Sunday". I am not sure what you get for Monday, I don't even know what Mon is. Perhaps it stands for Mono and if that is the case I definitely don't want that considering that is the kissing disease and all there are a whole lot of guys here. Of course the shining sun caused all the snow to start melting and created big pits of mud throughout the camp that was fun and challenging to navigate around. Ah, but it was sunny and almost 50 degrees so it was all good. Being from San Diego, I often neglect how the sun makes us feel and I take it for granted sometimes. Another thing we all may take for granted is how important our families and friends are to us. I am very fortunate and blessed with wonderful people who support and love me, being away certainly makes all of that very clear. It is worth spending some time reflecting on what's important in our lives.

So keeping with the music theme, I might have mentioned that we PT (that is physical training) in the mornings. For my team this consists of running around the compound, generally in the freezing cold. We run together as a group and if any of you military types can remember running in formation we used to sing some songs to keep us going and keep the group together. We have a Chief who remembered some of the old songs and he will sing cadence while we run. You may remember such great hits like, "My Grandma is 92, she PT's just like you" or who could forget "My girlfriend is a vegetable" or the classic "Left, left, left, right, left". Brings back memories, not all good, but memories just the same. I have loaded my favorites on my iPod so I can enjoy them at my leisure.

It was another busy week. We started out on Monday, with M4 rifle qualifications. It was a cold, rainy day and for those of you who like to shoot, these were less than ideal conditions. Probably good for a rugby match, but not so good for looking through a scope to see a target. We all have to remember though, the bad guys don't call off attacks on account of rain, so we pressed on and continued our day. I did not have too many problems and qualified relatively quickly, I am sure I could have done better in sunnier conditions but I made it through. Many did not do so well. Not only was it rainy, but it was cold, probably around 35 degrees not quite cold enough to snow. The longer you stayed out on the range zeroing your weapon (that is a task where you make sure your sights are set properly) and then trying to qualify, the colder and wetter you got. People were out there for over 5 hours many over 7 hours and we were expected to be out until 9 PM after an 8 AM start. Well after a few people were shivering so bad and could not feel their fingers anymore, some sense came over the Army and they called the day at about 4 PM. We actually had a few people sustain some cold weather injuries. It was quite a site seeing people soaking wet, covered in mud and freezing to the bone. I guess that is called good Army training. Since we had so few qualifications, we are back out on the range again on Monday to do it all over again. We are also going to qualify on the M9 pistol. Forecast is for 50 degrees and sunshine so it should go much better.

We also picked up our HUMMWV's this week along with some more weapons. We got 50 cals and M240 machine guns. We haven't had the opportunity to shoot them yet, but I am looking forward to blowing some holes in things. We also got some training on the Army's GPS system and some communication tools. Overall we learned a great deal and there is more to come.

Just so you don't think it is all work and no play. We did have an opportunity on Saturday night to go out in town. My team went out for pizza and beer at a local place called Old Chicago and then we headed out to some hangouts in Manhattan (Kansas that is not the Big Apple, although they do call the town the "Little Apple"). Manhattan is home to Kansas State University or as we locals call it K State. It is fun college town with a strip of bars and restaurants about 3 blocks long, we had a good time.

Back on the home front, we had some big news. My daughter Madigan, got her ears pierced. I wish I could have been there, I heard she was very brave and only said "ouch" when they made the holes. Now she is "blinged" out. Who knows, if i was there, I might have been motivated enough to get my belly button pierced.

Shortly after this brave episode, she had an accident in our backyard and broke her leg. She is now the proud owner of a hot pink cast from the top of her thigh to her toes. Of course she had to bling the cast too and it now has her name in rhinestones on it. She is very stylish.

Thomas hasn't broken anything this week, but did have a chance a week ago to try and blow some things up as he built a rocket with his "Uncle Gordy" and Gordy's son Colin. Rebecca seems to be handling things OK, of course it is tough, I really did do a couple things around the house.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day, it was business as usual around here. Of course the Navy's policy is "Don't ask, don't tell" so even if I knew of any romantic behavior among the sailors, I could not tell you.

Take care,


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